Pre-Season: Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview

Pre-Season Begins!

Manchester United get their pre-season underway with a huge clash with their rivals, Liverpool. This begins both teams’ pre-season fixtures as they arrived in Thailand last week. With only one new arrival in Tyrell Malacia and one notable absentee, United aren’t expected to blow away last year’s FA Cup and Carabao Cup winners. However, they are expected to show far more fight than the fixtures last season. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United slumped to a 5-0 loss at Old Trafford. Under Rangnick, United fared no better as Liverpool carved them apart at Anfield. New manager, Eric ten Hag has had a couple of weeks with the squad and has got to see what they can offer. He has got them accustomed to his training and style of play but it won’t be like clockwork.

Liverpool are of course on the back of a mixed season. They won two trophies but easily could have won three or four had two games gone their way. However, they ended the season with a bitter taste from the Champions League final defeat. They will want to start their campaign strongly and if that includes another big win over their rivals, they would love it. Having lost talisman, Sadio Mane, they will hope new addition, Darwin Nunez can replace his goals and impact. Sadly, it would seem Nunez won’t be available after sustaining an injury in training. So Klopp will have to rely on his regulars from last season – Salah, Firmino, Diaz and Jota.

Manchester United vs Liverpool Match Info:

Teams: Manchester United vs Liverpool
Date: Tuesday 12th July 2022
KO Time: 14:00GMT
Managers: Erik ten Hag and Jurgen Klopp
Stadium: Rajamangala Stadium

Team Selection:

Of course, this is pre-season and a lot of football is yet to be played before the league campaign begins. It is unlikely that the starting XI tomorrow will be the same as the one that plays at home to Brighton on the opening day. We saw in training today that United operated with an attack vs defence with the following players in attack; Malacia, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, van de Beek, Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho and Martial. This could be the majority of the team along with a centre back pairing of Varane and Maguire and De Gea between the sticks.

This would arguably be as strong as United can field offensively and with a few tweaks defensively would be as strong as United could be. I can see United playing with this formation and rotating at half time. However this would probably leave a much weaker team in the second half and so United could pick a more balanced side for both halves. Here is my prediction:

First Half XI: De Gea; Malacia, Maguire, Lindelof, Dalot; McTominay, Garner; Sancho, Hannibal, Rashford; Martial

Second Half XI: Heaton; Shaw, Varane, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, van de Beek; Garnacho, Fernandes, Amad; Elanga

Predicted Score:

It’s always hard with pre-season games, especially since how the two league games went last season. I can see United denying a win but to beat Liverpool almost at full strength would be an impressive feat. I do believe we may see a positive draw.

Predicted Score: 2-2

Author: Arjun Handa

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